By Manglobe INC, Fuji TV (2004)
Genre: Action(Martial arts)/Adventure/Comedy
U.S Distribution: Geneon Entertainment
In Edo Japan, the era of samurai, battles rage between local warlords and wandering samurai (a dime a dozen in ancient Japan, apparently). Mugen and Jin, two of those wandering samurai, are brought together when they lose a bet to a young girl, Fuu, who helped to save their life, and now must travel across the countryside with her in search of a man who she can only describe as "a samurai who smells like sunflowers." This all, of course, assumes that they don't kill each other first.
Artwork and animation: 9/10
The art style in this is well-done, with scenic backgrounds, very colorful images, and extremely original character designs. Although it may take a while to get used to some of the character designs, they fit the characters well and are very distinct when they need to be. The action sequences are also extremely well-done, with great pacing and awesome moves (to use the technical term).
Music and voice acting: 8/10
The music had a great Hip-hop/jazzy sound to it. It really went well with the epsodes ond the moods of the chacacters. The opening theme is a track that takes some getting used to, but once you've found the beat, it's actually pretty catchy. The end track is a smoother track than the opening, and sounds very nice. As far as voice acting goes, the English version isn't half bad. Daniel Andrews(Mugen), Kirk Thorton(Jin), and Kari Wahlgren(Fuu) all did a nice job in bringing out the characters.
All of the characters of Samurai Champloo were made really well. Each of the three main characters Mugen, a fierce warrior who has a primal attitude to fighting and life. He calls his unique style of fighting Champloo Kendo, and it's inspired by breakdancing. Jin, a more traditional swordsman who relies on his incredible skill to fend himself against any threat to him, ordinary or not. Fuu, a supposedly ditzy waitress who, in excahnge for helping them out of a jam, has asked the two samurai to accompany her on a journey. They all were great in their own way. All of them had there own past and own personality that effected the story. It had a great blend of good and bad guys, similar to Cowboy Bebop.
The story is one of the weaker points, but still was built up at a nice pace. Each episode (bar a few) did it's part to build up each character's history and personality. Three people with totally different personalities meet up and go on a journy, getting into all kinds of trouble. Sounds good, right? The beginning of the series was good and the ending was okay, not my favorite, though. I thought that the episodes could have went on longer. It seem to be too short of a series.
Overall, this was a good anime series. Short but good. If you like Cowboy Bebop, you will like Samurai Champloo. It has a great mixture of Action, adventure and comedy with catchy music. It's a lot more mature then other anime series. My personal favorite part of Samurai Champloo is the fighting and the martial arts styles. Every fight scene had it's own music to go with it and they flowed together really well.